Mormonism and Eternal Truth

Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
(Henri-Frederic Amiel)


The New Testament terms Ghost and Spirit are derived from the same Greek word. And they have exactly the same meaning. Ghost was the old fashioned term for Spirit, and is seldom used these days. Consequently most modern Bibles stick to Spirit. However, the King James version was written in old fashioned English at the time when the phasing out of the term Ghost was more or less in transition. So it uses both terms interchangeably, as does the Book of Mormon.

The scriptures themselves confirm that the terms Ghost and Spirit have the same meaning. For instance, Christ used them interchangeably. In the first KJV quote given below, He refers to the Comforter as being the Spirit of Truth, and then He says the Comforter is the Holy Ghost. And in the second quote He refers to the Holy Ghost and the Spirit as being one and the same.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. … But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:16-17, 26, KJV)

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:37-39,KJV)

Furthermore, the following scripture, recording the death of Christ on the cross when His spirit departed from His body, implies exactly what the original Greek tells us, i.e. that the words ghost and spirit have the same meaning:

“And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” (Mark.15:37-38, KJV)


The LDS Holy Ghost is a son of God and a deity. Although he is a personage of spirit, he is not capable of being in more than one place at a time.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the Holy Ghost is a spirit man, a spirit son of God the Father.” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Volume 2).
“The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a Personage of Spirit, a Spirit Person, a Spirit Man, a Spirit Entity. He can be in only one place at one time, and he does not and cannot transform himself into any other form or image than that of the Man whom he is.” (LDS Apostle McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, page 359).

Mormonism is full of contradictions. According to their law of eternal progression, one cannot progress to the level of deity unless one first takes on a physical body and lives a period of probation on an earthly planet. Yet their Holy Ghost, whom they say is a God and the third member of the Godhead, does not have a body of flesh and bone. Neither did the Lord Jesus Christ have a physical body at the time they maintain that he attained His LDS godhood, prior to His incarnation. So here we have at least two major contradictions out of three, to their law of eternal progression. (Their God the Father has a body of flesh and bone.)

But truth never contradicts itself. (There is a link at the bottom of this page to an article on contractions in LDS scriptures.)

Here are more of their teachings on the Holy Ghost:

“The Holy Ghost may be regarded as the minister of the Godhead, carrying into effect the decisions of the Supreme Council [of Gods]. The power of the Holy Ghost is the spirit of prophecy and revelation. God grants the gift of the Holy Ghost unto the obedient, the authority to so bestow the Holy Ghost belongs only to the higher or [the LDS] Melchizedek Priesthood.” (The Articles of Faith, 1982, page 160, LDS Apostle James E. Talmage ).

“If a man is baptized and ordained to the Holy priesthood and is called upon to perform duties which pertain to that Priesthood, it does not follow that he must always have the Holy Ghost in person present with him when he performs his duty, but every righteous act which he may perform legally will be in force and effect and will be acknowledged of God, and the more of the Spirit of God he possesses in his ministrations, the better for himself, and those will not suffer any loss unto whom he administers. Therefore, the presentation or the gift of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment.” (Gospel Doctrine, Volume 1, pages 94 and 95.)

But contrary to the last quote from Gospel Doctrine, once Christ baptizes us in the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost, He is there to stay. That is how Christ/God lives in those who are His. (The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit both as the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.)

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9, KJV)
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” (Galations 2:20, KJV)
“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22, KJV)
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? ” (1 Corinthians 3:16, KJV)

Wherever I go, God/Christ comes with me, because His presence dwells within me. I am His temple. He’s with me all the time. And He has promised that He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).


They maintain that the Spirit is an inanimate force or power similar to electricity, used by God to accomplish his purposes. It is present everywhere.

“The Spirit of God which emanates from Deity may be likened to electricity or the universal ether, as explained in our manual, which fills the earth and the air and is everywhere present. It is the power of God, the influence that he exerts throughout all his works, by which he can effect his purposes and execute his will …” (Gospel Doctrine,; Volume 1, page 95.)

“… it is the light of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, which proceeds from the source of intelligence, which permeates all nature, which lighteth every man and fills the immensity of space. You may call it the Spirit of God, you may call it the influence of God’s intelligence, you may call it the substance of His power; no matter what it is called it is the spirit of intelligence that permeates the universe and gives to the spirits of men understanding.” [Job 32:8, Doctrine & Covenants 88:3-13] (Gospel Doctrine, Volume 1, page 94.)

None of these LDS teachings will be found anywhere in the Bible. In fact, they oppose what the Bible says.


Neither ceremonies nor rituals have the power to make one a Christian. Only baptism by the Spirit can make one a bone fide member of the universal body of Christ. Under the New Covenant salvation is by grace through faith, not through works that we have done. And the new birth is a great, supernatural work of the Spirit; not the result of our own legalistic obedience to laws and ordinances.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11, KJV
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13, KJV)

Every single member of the body of Christ has been regenerated (born again) through the Spirit, who from there on resides within him.

The Bible clearly portrays the Holy Spirit as a being (and the third person of the Trinity). He has all the attributes that a person possesses, which could never be the case with a thing or a force. He works and acts according to His will. He gives to each of us individually just as He wills. He loves, helps and guides us. He makes intercession for us, and He grieves over our sin:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.” (Romans 15:30, KJV)
“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:11, KJV)
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26, 27 KJV)
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”(Ephesians 4:30, KJV)

The Holy Spirit does not draw attention to Himself as His task is to reveal Christ and His purposes, and thereby guide us into all truth. And in so doing, He glorifies Christ.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13-14, KJV)

The following are links to relevant articles:

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